15 stylish walk in closet ideas for even the smallest of bedrooms...

Thought walk in closet ideas were for people with massive houses? Think again...

walk in closet ideas
(Image credit: Ikea)

Do you lust over the walk-in closet ideas on Pinterest? We certainly do, and while we could waffle on in true Carrie Bradshaw-style about why this is one of our favorite bedroom ideas for a paragraph or two, let's just cut straight to it. Indeed, you can have a walk in closet (of sorts), even if your bedroom is on the smaller side. You just need to be really clever with your space and invest in the right storage. Here we have rounded up loads of walk-in closet and dressing room ideas to help you live out your closet dreams no matter what size space you are dealing with. 

And as we looked at pictures of the gorgeous, practical, clutter-free room, we couldn't help but wonder why we had never thought to add a small walk-in closer sooner (sorry couldn't help it)... 

1. Where can you add a walk in closet?

Ikea closet in blue bedroom

(Image credit: Ikea)

If you're lucky enough to have a box room next to or near to your master bedroom, this is the perfect place to site your dressing room – and it can stay separate from your bedroom, saving you the cost of knocking through.

If you're planning a major renovation anyway, blocking up the door between the box room and the hallway and opening up the wall between the box room and your bedroom will give your space more of a master suite feel.

In both cases, lining the walls of this set-up with clothes storage and perhaps room for a dressing table, with a bench for seating or extra storage in the center of the room is the best use of space. 

No room for a separate dressing room? You can recreate the feel of walk-in closet on a long run of wall or large alcove in your bedroom. Use wardrobes or a stud partition wall behind the bed to make a dressing area that feels like a separate space – just ensure the lighting is adequate. You can also use a curtain to create the illusion of a separate space.

2. First assess your closet storage needs

Shoe storage idea on the back of a wardrobe door

(Image credit: Ikea/Chris Court)

Before getting carried away with glamorous walk in closet ideas, carefully assess your clothes storage needs and preferences so that you can take on the most convenient closet organization ideas for you. Do you prefer to hang or fold the majority of your garments? How much rail vs drawer vs shelf space will you need? Factor in shoe storage, handbags, swimwear and accessories, as these smaller items are often the most challenging to store neatly. 

Shelves instead of drawers for your jumpers and jeans are a good dressing room idea, using dividers and designated compartments to keep your clothes in a neat pile. Hanging space is a must, but make sure you have enough room for full-length garments as well as shorter ones, and double your clothes storage by incorporating shorter hanging if you only need to hang trousers or skirts. Hangers or slide-out fixings? A combination of both is good.

3. Choose between fitted or freestanding furniture 

Ikea sale best picks

(Image credit: Ikea)

Fitted or freestanding dressing room furniture? Fitted options are more expensive than off-the-shelf wardrobes, but have the advantage of being fully customizable to your space, increasing your storage by, on average, 30 percent, and therefore freeing up more floor space. 

When it comes to choosing your dressing room storage furniture, have a combination of types, but be mindful that drawers cost more than shelves or hanging space. If you are on a budget, use shelves and storage boxes in place of drawers. Also, choose an affordable, good-quality carcass for your closet and dress it up with investment doors, handles and soft-close hinges.

4. Create an instant closet with a space-saving curtain

Closet with curtain

(Image credit: Ikea)

This is a fab hack for creating a 'walk in' closet even if you have zero space. Hiding your closet behind a curtain gives it a separate feel from the rest of your bedroom, and also keeps the space free from the clutter that resides in your closet.

5. Or use a room divider to create a dressing room 

A bedroom divided into a dressing room with a Pax wardrobe with green Hokksund sliding doors

(Image credit: Ikea)

Even if you don't have an obvious place for your closet,  you could pinch this walk-in closet idea and create the look by using a wardrobe (or a floor-to-ceiling storage system) as a room divider. This will work if you want to use part of your bedroom as a home office, too. 

6. Leave wall space for smaller items

Walk-in wardrobe in small bedroom

(Image credit: Ikea/Johan Månsson)

Ah pegboard, of course, there has to be some pegboard. It's great for creating storage for makeup, jewelry and accessories. Then, pop a mirror up and you have a dressing table as part of your closet too. 

7. Wall mount clothes rails to save on space

Small closet with clothes rail and shelving

(Image credit: Ikea)

Wall mount a clothes rail for more hanging space and leave the space underneath for storing all those bits that you can never find a home for – shoes, suitcases, that sort of thing. Plus a clothes rail is really inexpensive too, so a great if you want to create a walk in closet on a budget. 

8. Squeeze a walk in closet into an alcove

dressing room loft comversion photos by rachael smith

(Image credit: Future/Rachael Smith)

Get creative in where you could put a walk in closet in your bedroom. Even if you don't have an a-joining room to turn into a wardrobe if you've got an alcove or a long run of wall, fixing clothes rails and shelving. Ideal if you're renting! Find more alcove ideas in our design gallery.

9. Keep your walk in closet organized with boxes

storage boxes in a walk in wardrobe

(Image credit: Orthex)

An organized closet saves you from jumper avalanches each time you want to get to a new item. Keeping things neatly folded in clear plastic boxes will allow you to see where everything is – you could even be extra Monica and label them.

10. Re-organize your walk in closet with the seasons

Ikea closet storage

(Image credit: Ikea)

Because you don't need a whole closet of sandals and summer dresses in the middle of winter. Switch out your wardrobe every few months to keep it clutter-free and filled with clothes you are actually going to wear. Pop whatever clothes you aren't wearing into boxes under the bed, or in the loft and, again, label them so you know what you get our as the seasons change. 

11. Use the back of a door for extra storage

Pegboard from Ikea in a closet

(Image credit: Ikea)

Pegboard again! Yes, we have sung the praises of pegboard many a time and they can add plenty of extra storage to your closet by fixing a few boards to the back of your closet or wardrobe door. They are really handy for keeping the smaller items, like, jewelry, shoes, glasses and bags organized and easily accessible. 

12. Think about lighting 

Studio McGee master closet with laundry room

(Image credit: Design: Studio McGee, Photography: Kate Osborne)

Lighting is key in closet design  – thinking your lighting scheme through carefully will enable you to make the most of the space. Where possible, try to locate your dressing table in front of a natural light source. If this isn’t possible, make sure you add some spotlighting, even if the room is small. Aim for the magic number of at least five light sources, not only for practicality and visibility but to create atmosphere and spotlight accents.

Don’t forget the sockets – the last thing you need is to create your perfect dressing room and then have to stand on the other side of the room to dry your hair. Look at how to plan bedroom lighting to get started – many of the principles are the same.

13. Use mirrored doors to make a closet feel bigger 

Dressing room with wardrobe with mirrored doors

(Image credit: Future/Peter Landers)

If you are cramming a small space with storage, you need to prevent it from feeling enclosed. Closets that reach all the way to the ceiling will maximize your storage, but will make the room feel smaller. You can combat that with mirrored doors on wardrobes, or furniture in light-enhancing colors and high gloss finishes. 

14. Add sliding doors to create a hidden dressing room

Signature mirrored walk-in wardrobe from Spaceslide in a bedroom

(Image credit: Spaceslide)

Get inspired by this walk in closet idea and section off part of the bedroom or build a walk-in wardrobe in an adjoining room, using sliding doors for division and to keep dust away. A mirrored door not only has an obvious practical use, but will also create the optical illusion of even more space.

15. Create a 'dressing room wall'

Dressing room ideas in a bedroom

(Image credit: Ikea/Tjitske Van Leeuwen-Huisman)

Again, if you don't have room for a walk in closet you can create a similar set up in your bedroom. Just look at this closet design – two very sleek wardrobes that almost blend into the wall and a floating shelf in between as a handy place to get ready. 

How much does it cost to put in a walk in closet?

To have a walk in closet installed by a professional on average costs between $1,500 and $3,000 depending on the size, design and finish you want. It also depends if you need to add any walls to create your closet, this will add to costs too.  

You could DIY a walk in closet using off the shelf systems and installing them yourself. Depending on the quality of the storage you choose you could do this project for under $1000 if you were after a budget friendly option. 

Are walk in closets worth it?

If you are in need of extra clothes storage an a new set of drawers just isn't going to cut it, a walk in closet will add ample amount of storage. They can also often double up as a dressing room too so you can pop your dressing table in there, freeing up even more space in your bedroom and saving time spent in the bathroom too. Consider storing your iron in there too (this is way it's great to have plenty of sockets in a closet) and you can use the space to iron and fold your clothes too.

Of course, as well as making your life a lot easier, and your bedroom a whole lot less clutter, a walk-in closet can also add value to your home or at least make it much quicker to sale when you come to it. It's the perfect thing to show off to potential buyers and is now something on many people's must have lists.

Hebe Hatton
Hebe Hatton

Hebe joined the Real Homes team in early 2018 as Staff Writer. As a renter, she is always looking for creative ways to make her flat feel like home. She loves boho and 70's style and is a big fan of Instagram as a source of interiors inspiration.

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